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NapaCountyShooter
04-19-2010, 9:36 PM
In the last couple years, I've bought an HP laptop and desktop, both Pavilion.
The laptop always had problems, but I finally got it working pretty well. Of course, the hard drive blew. I went through the store I bought it from and they replaced the hard drive and I had to buy the recovery cd's from HP. Well, everything worked fine for a few more months. Then, a couple months after the warranty was up, I lost it again. I performed the diagnostics in the startup menu, the RAM passed fine, but the hard drive test wouldn't finish. I figured something was wrong with the hard drive again. I bought a new one again and just tried to reload windows again via the recovery cd. Well, the diagnostics now work for the hard drive and the ram, but it does the exact same thing that it did before the new hard drive when I try to recover. It gets through the formatting and hard drive recovery, then tries to reinstall the software and restarts itself a couple times and then gives me an error message that says that Windows failed to start and that windows\system32\winload.exe could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt. I don't get it. I'm semi computer literate, but I can not get this thing to work for the life of me. Help?

Now the desktop. It's my wife's computer and it worked pretty well for about 14 months. (12 month warranty) Then, one day, it suddenly froze. I tried to restart it, but it froze every time at the startup screen. I eventually found out that the 1gb ram unit was bad (there's 3gbs total) I replaced it with a 2gb unit of the same speed (800Mhz) and type ddr2. Well, now it got past the startup screen and into the recovery process, but froze everytime between 11 and 32% recovery status. I tried several times to no avail. I ran the diagnostic and it tells me that everything passed except the ram, which failed again. Could it be that the old 2GB unit is bad too? Is there another component in the RAM system that I could check? I know I need to get it tested. I'm just done for the night and frustrated that I spent money for nothing. (Could have bought ammo or something.) I'm down to my netbook. If anyone has any ideas, I'd sure appreciate it. I'm out of them. Thanks
P.S. It's freakin vista on both machines.

Jonah

JDay
04-19-2010, 10:33 PM
Clean the dust out of the CPU heat sink and fan. And if you're going through hard drives that fast you are abusing it. You should be able to find the service manual that shows you how to get to the heat sink/fan assembly on the HP Support (http://support.hp.com) website. As for testing the ram, put only one chip in at a time and see if the problem persists. If it only happens with one of the sticks in there you've found your problem.

basalt
04-19-2010, 11:06 PM
In the last couple years, I've bought an HP laptop and desktop, both Pavilion.
The laptop always had problems, but I finally got it working pretty well. Of course, the hard drive blew. I went through the store I bought it from and they replaced the hard drive and I had to buy the recovery cd's from HP. Well, everything worked fine for a few more months. Then, a couple months after the warranty was up, I lost it again. I performed the diagnostics in the startup menu, the RAM passed fine, but the hard drive test wouldn't finish. I figured something was wrong with the hard drive again. I bought a new one again and just tried to reload windows again via the recovery cd. Well, the diagnostics now work for the hard drive and the ram, but it does the exact same thing that it did before the new hard drive when I try to recover. It gets through the formatting and hard drive recovery, then tries to reinstall the software and restarts itself a couple times and then gives me an error message that says that Windows failed to start and that windows\system32\winload.exe could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt. I don't get it. I'm semi computer literate, but I can not get this thing to work for the life of me. Help?

Now the desktop. It's my wife's computer and it worked pretty well for about 14 months. (12 month warranty) Then, one day, it suddenly froze. I tried to restart it, but it froze every time at the startup screen. I eventually found out that the 1gb ram unit was bad (there's 3gbs total) I replaced it with a 2gb unit of the same speed (800Mhz) and type ddr2. Well, now it got past the startup screen and into the recovery process, but froze everytime between 11 and 32% recovery status. I tried several times to no avail. I ran the diagnostic and it tells me that everything passed except the ram, which failed again. Could it be that the old 2GB unit is bad too? Is there another component in the RAM system that I could check? I know I need to get it tested. I'm just done for the night and frustrated that I spent money for nothing. (Could have bought ammo or something.) I'm down to my netbook. If anyone has any ideas, I'd sure appreciate it. I'm out of them. Thanks
P.S. It's freakin vista on both machines.

Jonah

Try removing all USB devices. Use a PS2 keyboard if necessary. There are a lot of things that can be causing the winload.exe error. Google it and start trying things if the USB devices are not the problem.

It is always good to keep the heat sinks clean especially on a laptop, but Google has shown that heat has little affect on HD life. Shock is much more likely to cause HD failure. Heat will cause all sorts of other issues though.

Desktop- Are you mixing a 1 GB stick of RAM with a 2 GB stick of RAM? Try switching sticks, one at a time, and see if it boots further. Also try the RAM in different slots if still having issues. Have you tried reinstalling Vista instead of recovering? If all else fails you can remove the harddrives, recover your data, and reinstall.

JDay
04-19-2010, 11:13 PM
Desktop- Are you mixing a 1 GB stick of RAM with a 2 GB stick of RAM?

You can mix ram sizes, modern computers don't use DIMMS. You just won't get dual channel mode operation if they're not the same size and speed.

NapaCountyShooter
04-20-2010, 5:55 AM
I've tried all combinations of the ram in all the slots on the desktop including the new ram by itself in both slots with the desktop. The 1gb stick was definitely faulty as when I tried it again the machine flat out freezes on the startup screen, but I tried the other two in every slot combo I could including both 2gb sticks by themselves and no dice. The only thing is, I don't have a Vista disc. I just have a recovery disc for the laptop and a recovery drive for the desktop. Maybe if I can get a real Vista disc, I might have better results with both machines?

nosuchagency
04-20-2010, 6:56 AM
regarding your laptop, you may want to run a search on the nvidia recall as well (if applicable). i missed the extended warranty by a few months and pretty much swore off any future hp purchases once the current laptop meets its service life... good luck on resolving both issues.

Sailormilan2
04-20-2010, 6:56 AM
I thought that on HP machines, you could make your own recovery disks(either CDs or DVDs) from a built in program. Saving you having to buy one. It is supposed to be done as soon as you get the machine up and running. They may have changed this, but I have had to do that on all my HPs(4 total), and every HP I have dealt with.
On my Compaq(HP built) laptop, it is easy to change the HD. Remove 2 screws to drop the panel, remove the HD. Unscrew 4 screws from the HD carrier, install new HD, and put back together.

JDay
04-20-2010, 12:35 PM
I thought that on HP machines, you could make your own recovery disks(either CDs or DVDs) from a built in program. Saving you having to buy one.

You can but almost nobody ever does it. I think there's a boot option to restore from the recovery partition too. If you buy a business class machine they usually give you the discs.

basalt
04-22-2010, 8:20 PM
I see you are from Angwin, any chance you work for the college and can get an educator's discount (or student) on Windows 7?

I hate telling anyone to start throwing money at old computers but if you can't get a real install disk you might be SOL.

Download a linux live CD (if you have a working computer you can do that from) and run some memory tests on those sticks so we can at least rule out the memory. Let me know if you need any links to some live CDs.

NapaCountyShooter
04-23-2010, 5:51 AM
I see you are from Angwin, any chance you work for the college and can get an educator's discount (or student) on Windows 7?

I hate telling anyone to start throwing money at old computers but if you can't get a real install disk you might be SOL.

Download a linux live CD (if you have a working computer you can do that from) and run some memory tests on those sticks so we can at least rule out the memory. Let me know if you need any links to some live CDs.

Thanks a lot, unfortunately no, I don't work for the college but I just dropped off the computers with my buddy's little brother who's a computer whiz, so if he can't fix them.... I don't know.

shotcaller6
04-25-2010, 7:24 AM
I've experienced this type of problem with HP, basically if you are using a recovery disc you must have the original memory sticks installed...otherwise you will need the operating disc itself. Buy a new operating system and you'll be good to go.

Pyrodyne
04-30-2010, 7:01 PM
Ah, HP. My favorite company.

1) Check the power supply. Get a digital multimeter and jam the red lead into the yellow wire of a molex (4-pin power connector). Jam the black into either black lead. If you're reading 11.8V or lower, replace the power supply. If it says "LiteOn" on the label, replace it anyways.

2) Check for blown or bulging capacitors. Older HPs just like all computers were plagued with a bad batch from China.

3) Scream at their tech support. It makes me feel better.

4) What is your CPU? If it's a P4 with hyperthreading (has a pentium 4 logo with small "ht" on the right side), and you let it get dusty the CPU heat spreader might have popped loose and the CPU has overheated and is now damaged.

5) If all else fails, they make great targets. Take the panels off, shoot them, and put them back on. Use as a stand or put flowers in the holes or something. Great conversation piece.